UK: Over 50 children were sexually abused by paedophile catholic monks for decades

In another incident of mass sexual abuse of children in the UK, over 50 children were sexually abused by ‘paedophile’ catholic monks on a reputed “holy island” off the coast of Wales. The crimes took place over 50 years ago, and now an inquiry has been announced over it.

Unbeknownst to thousands of tourists every year, Caldey, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, has a sordid past of sexual assault against infants as young as three. Many adults who were then children were revealed to have been sexually abused in the exquisite gardens, raped in the historic monastery and threatened with eternal damnation if they spoke to anybody about the same on the mainland.

Fifty people from all around the world, ranging in age from 45 to 65, have unveiled, “It happened to me.” A request for a Public Inquiry was turned down, ostensibly because one of the paedophile monks had passed away and none of the fraternity of Cistercian priests had been found guilty. One of the most notorious monks on Caldey Island, Father Thaddeus Kotik is accused of abusing and molesting a large number of children during the 1970s and 1980s. He would first make friends with the kids and give them candy before violating them.

Many of his victims charged that he would entice them to an altar stone hidden among the island’s ruins, where he would carry out his horrific deeds. The deranged clergyman reached the island in 1947 after serving in the Free Polish Army during World War II. He received his ordination in 1956. He passed away in 1992 without being prosecuted for his crimes on the sacred island. Following a civil court proceeding that revealed Father Thaddeus Kotik had sexually molested six girls between 1972 and 1987, the victims received compensation.

The scandal’s victims assert that kids have never felt safe on the picturesque island. There are ongoing allegations of coercion and sexual assault of women on the island. Grooming culture persists there and the offenders are protected. A crime reference number is provided by the majority of the fifty victims who declared to have been “raped or sexually abused” on Caldey. However, none of the perpetrators was ever thrown behind bars.

The abbey is now under fresh leadership in the form of Father Jan Rossey who is the new superior at Caldey Island Cistercian Abbey. He has supported a full inquiry into the matter. He stated, “In common with many other organisations, Caldey Abbey has, in the past, received disclosures and allegations involving members of the monastic community about their behaviour towards children.”

He added, “We take these allegations very seriously and, in order to uphold our commitment to safeguarding, we have commissioned a leading Independent Safeguarding Consultant, Jan Pickles OBE, to conduct a thorough review. This review is about taking responsibility, learning from the past, and building a safe environment for everyone.”

The inquiry will be led by Jan Pickles, former assistant police and crime commissioner at South Wales Police.

Following the formation of “The Caldey Island Survivors Campaign,” which is pushing for a public investigation of the historical child sex abuse that occurred on the island, the accusations began to circulate. The initiative is reported to have been founded by 61-year-old Kevin O’Connell who was raped and abused by Father Thaddeus Kotik when he was just 10 years old and witnessed the “industrial abuse” of children at the abbey.

He mentioned, “I was fearful that people were still being abused on the island but I had no proof, then a letter arrived a few weeks ago. It was anonymous but the person who wrote it lives on the island and described themselves as a concerned resident. A young girl was subjected to sexual harassment and misogynistic behaviour. According to the concerned resident, there was no investigation and the allegations were dismissed by the Abbot. It shows that nothing has changed, they lie and they lie and they lie.”

Father John Shannon and John Cronin, two more men connected to Caldey, were found guilty of sexual offences against minors. Rebecca, the elder sister of Kevin O’Connell was also sexually assaulted by Father Thaddeus and she died at the age of 49. “It was horrible, the police were told but they didn’t want to know. I believe she died young because of what happened to her. I am her voice, I want justice for Rebecca, more than I want it for me. I was also offered money as compensation. I told them I don’t want money, I want the truth.”

Kevin O’Connell voiced that Cistercian Order monks who resided on the island off the coast of Pembrokeshire had sexually assaulted him during the 1960s and 1970s. He divulged that he was trafficked to Surrey and Sussex where he fell prey to other paedophiles. He joined over twenty survivors who came forward in recent years to talk about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the monks.

The founder of the Caldey Island Survivors’ Campaign group, Kevin O’Connell, has been demanding an investigation since 2019 into claims that he and other victims suffered abuse on the monastic island near Tenby. A man who was taken in by the monks and resided on the island for seven years was charged with having indecent pictures of minors in 2011.

Jan Pickles OBE, a former assistant police and crime commissioner for South Wales and independent safeguarding consultant, has been engaged by the Caldey Abbey estate to oversee a “thorough review” of past allegations of child abuse going back to the 1960s.

Source: OpIndia

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